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  • Press-Enterprise Special Report: Six months of pandemic shutdowns

    Today marks six months since California went under statewide stay-at-home orders, changing life as we know it. Since then, journalists across the Southern California News Group including the The Press-Enterprise have covered more than 8,000 stories related to the virus: Ups and downs of case counts, closings and re-openings and re-closings of businesses and beaches, on-again off-again mask requirements. During the pandemic, time has been a tricky thing. It drags. It races. Perspective might be even more elusive. 

    A few weeks ago, we asked our coronavirus newsletter readers to share some thoughts about what they have learned about our society, community and themselves since the pandemic began. The responses expressed pain, anger and frustration. 

    Reader Brooke Thibault’s husband is one of the 9,464 people known to have died of the virus as of yesterday’s count in our coverage area of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

    She wrote:
    When this pandemic first came to light, I worried lest I contract it. More importantly, I worried how my husband, who lived in a nursing home, would fare if he contracted it. My worst fears were realized: He caught Covid, seemed to have a mild case, recovered, then 3 weeks later, developed gangrene, lost his swallow reflex, and died two days later. We buried him this past Wednesday.
    This disease spares no one. Those of us who do not contract it must deal with the loneliness and heartbreak that come with losing a loved one. And life is never the same after that. 

    My perspective has changed because I am no longer a wife--I am a widow now.

    Other writers focused on how they are getting through the isolation with positive thinking. John Clayton, a reader from the Palos Verdes Peninsula wrote:

    I’m a whole lot stronger than I’d realized. Being as I call it, “imprisoned” in one’s own home, is a scenario that’s challenging to even imagine, let alone to actually face and endure. The worst thing one can do is to tell one’s self how awful it is, and worry about what am I going to do? As hard as it might be for some to achieve, here is the MOST important fact: THINK AND BE POSITIVE. Actually read a book you’ve thought about reading but never done. Write a diary of how you feel each day so, in later years, you and your friends and relatives can see what you overcame.
    To do a little reflecting to mark the milestone, we’ve put together a special package of stories about what we’ve learned over the past six months and what experts expect from the next six.

    Here’s some of what’s included:

    If you’d like to read more, check out our online section Coronavirus 6 Months. The package will appear in tomorrow’s print editions, too. 

    We also asked our journalists to reflect on what they’ve done this year and share some of their best stories on Twitter this weekend. If you want to follow along with that, check out the hashtag #SCNGonCV.

    Whatever comes next, we’ll be here covering it. If you have any questions our journalists might be able to answer or ideas for stories, please let us know at brave@scng.com

    And if you want to continue to track our future coverage of the Covid-19 crisis, sign up for our Coronavirus newsletter here.

    Hang in there.